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IP2012 The Iron Pony Obstacle Course!

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~The Iron Pony Obstacle Course~

A tan earth pony stands beside a starting line; a long, winding course full barrels, spotted with mud, and other obstacles stretches on behind her. Ponies have gathered along the sidelines of the course, watching contestants tackle the course one at a time. There is much ruckus as one of the participants falls into a pool of mud, ponies cheering or shouting encouragement- the whole scene is energetic, and alive with the spirit of competition! The tan pony earth pony spots you and calls out to you, her brown mane whipping in a slight breeze. Her enthusiasm strikes you as she calls out- "Welcome to the Iron Pony Obstacle Course! Do you have strength? Agility? Finesse! Speed?! Do you have what it takes to be number one?! Step on up and show us what you've got!'

Event Description:

Everypony can test their mettle on the obstacle course! The object is to get over, under, and across as quickly as possible to reach the finish line. The obstacle course is made up of four obstacles. The first obstacle is a long, shoulder deep pit of mud the width of the track; so cross it your going to have to get a little dirty! Sturdy, strong ponies will do well on this leg of the race! The second obstacle is a wall of barrels - stacked six high at its peak, there are too many to jump over from ground level! Each pony must be careful to scale the barrles that arent stacked as high until they can reach the top, and jump over. Be careful not to slip, some of those barrels can be wobbly! Ponies with agility will do well here! The third obstacle is a long straight stretch of the course where ponies must sprint to cross it as quickly as possible to reach the next challenge; ponies with great speed will excel through this challenge! Finally, the last challenge and fourth obstacle is a row of three thick wooden poles sticking up out of the ground. Each pony must retrieve three fresh apple pies at a nearby table, and are required to balance all three pies on their back while they weave between the wooden poles to the finish line. Move quickly, but not too quickly! For each pie that falls, there is a time penalty, so dont let those pies fall! Ponies with the utmost elegance and balance will shine brightly in this leg of the race!

Event Rules:

1 )There is no flying, no magic, and no use of outside equipment; everypony must compete using their natural ability to overcome the obstacle course!

2) Only one post (run) per competitor (OC)!

3) You may participate in this event with more than one OC. However, only one post will be considered for judging, please indicate which OC/post you want to be judged in the competition at the top right of your post by adding the following: *This post submitted for judging*

4) This event is running for three days- don't miss your opportunity to give it your all!

5) All global forum rules apply- keep it clean and safe for all ages!

Event Judging:

This event will be judged by three simple criteria: Completion, Creativity, and Quality. There is no actual timing, or time penalties factored into the judging, the winner will be decided solely based on the overall quality of their RP based on the above criteria and following guidelines. The listed criteria will be used by the judge to determine the winner, no scores will be given or made public, and the winner will be announced upon the completion of the event! Specific information on each criteria follows:

1) Completion will be based on appropriate post length (not to short or inappropriately long), and responds to all event criteria. Completion checks to see that the competitor has met all of the requirements of the event.

2) Creativity encompasses every writer's unique approach to solving the event, how entertaining, and how original the post is. Is there character development in struggle, however small? Do we learn something about the character through their actions, thoughts, and attitude? Is it humorous, or does it make us sympathize with the character? Is it enjoyable and well thought out?

3) Quality focuses on the physical quality of the post- are there spelling errors, or grammatical errors that throw a wrench in the reading process? Does the post flow well when read? Does the post look good, or is it riddled with colors that don't match and pictures that don't fit in? This criteria focuses on basic readability and penmanship.

Getting Started:

All you need to do to get started is to respond to this thread with your post of your OC going through the obstacle course! Good luck everypony, show us what you've got!

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  • 2 months later...

A towel quickly tucked away into her bag, the little pony detective had finally managed to dry herself off after her accidental participation in that stupid sky diving event. That stupid misunderstanding had left her all wet and cold, but a good detective always has a towel in her bag! And a teddy bear, and some snacks, and letters, and a magnifying glass.. and a whole lot more, even! She had stuffed so much stuff in her mailbag, it was almost a surprise that she could still fly - even if she barely can in the first place!

After a clever deduction she managed to find out this mysterious festival, in fact was the Iron Pony Competition, by looking at one of the many banners hung all around Ponyville. An iron pony? Does that mean there's.. a robot somewhere in the village of Ponyville! Oh my gosh! A real robot? Somepony HAD to find this robotic pony before he would destroy all of Ponyville! And who better to locate this metallic fiend than the best of all detectives?

Sleuth, looking through her magnifying glass, was doing just that! She had found a suspicious trail of hoofprints which eventually lead her to a certain event. The Obstacle Course! Where else would a pony find such a dastardly cyborg? She stuffed the magnifying glass back into her bag and looked around. Quickly, she glanced up and started whispering to a certain teddy bear. ''Alright, Hatson, do you see him?'' she asked the bear, before letting out a small puff of air. ''No? Oh, ponyfeathers!'' she muttered under her breath, as she looked at the start of the obstacle course. Perhaps she had to finish this challenge to reveal the path to the mechanical puppet! Then she will finish this course and show that android not to mess with Sleuth, Master Detective!

Folding her small wings and adjusting her hat, she looked up at Hatson as she stood at the starting line. ''Let's go catch us the bad guy!'' she squeaked, and she darted off. Tiny little clops came from her hooves as she pranced along the course, making sure not too use her wings, Even though she had folded her wings up, a trail of feathers still following her. The little filly, thankfully did not notice this, as if she were to find this trail, she would no doubt start following it, claiming it would've been the subject! Such a silly filly!

She stopped her trotting quickly, sliding across the ground until she stopped just before the first obstacle. She poked her tongue out of her mouth as she tried to balance herself. The little filly fell on her flank, and she shook her head. ''Mud! One of my mortal enemies! So we meet again! Let's see who's better, once and for all!'' she muttered, as she licked her lips. She shook her entire body for a moment, leaned back and leaped for the other side of the mud pool! Due to her low weight, she managed almost to land on the other side. It almost looked like she could float, even though she can't. Thank goodness she was so fluffy and light! Sadly, this did not go entirely as planned, as the filly landed just before reaching the end of the pool, making her disappear in the pit of dirt. Climbing out by the side, she whined quietly, before shaking wildly, causing mud to fly everywhere. Thankfully, due to this most of the mud had come off, and she was smiling yet again. ''Ha ha! Take that, Iron Pony!'' she called out, and giggled quickly, as she moved on.

A little bit further, she bumped into a barrel. A barrel? She looked up, and gasped. An entire wall of barrels! ''Why, a detective can always jump over barrels.. I... think at least..'' she spoke, before jumping over to a slightly higher stack of barrels. And another, and another and another! Having almost reached the top, the filly leaped once again, and stood on top of the barrel stack. Looking down, she prepared to jump down, however a other pony appeared and stole her plan, bumping into the pink filly before jumping down himself. The filly was completely surprised by this sudden shove that she had no time to react, and she fell off the stack of barrels, bouncing off of several barrels until her flank gently touched the ground once again. ''Owch!'' she squeaked, as she shook her head quickly. ''Ha ha! Iron Pony: Zero, Sleuth: Two!'' she called out again, as she quickly darted off to the next challenge.

She didn't realize that the third challenge was to sprint to the next challenge, and thus all she did was skip across it. She looked up and checked on her teddy bear. ''Hatson.. '' she muttered, and panted quietly. ''.. all good?'' she asked, and smiled. ''Good, good, my dear assistant! Good!'' she giggled, and reached the final challenge. Poles and pies. Poles and pies. Wait, poles and pies? Pies? She would totally love to have a pie right now!

Licking her lips, she looked at the pies, and took a quick bite from one of the three. ''.. So.. hungry.. pies.. too.. delicious!'' she squeaked happily, and giggled, as she gulped. She smiled broadly as she slowly stuffed Hatson into her bag, ''Don't worry, Hatson, i got this!'' she said quietly, as she put the the pies on her back. Balancing the best she could, she started walking through the poles. It was a difficult task, and the little filly even got hungrier than before!

Finally, she reached the end of the obstacle course and looked around. Her gaze searching for a robotic pony. Sadly, he was nowhere to be seen. She grumbled, and kicked up some dust. ''.. I'll get you next time.. Iron Pony!'' she called out again, before walking away from the event, nomming on some delicious pie! No doubt she will try again to find the mysterious robot called Iron Pony.. as long as she didn't have to run an obstacle course again to 'arrest' him!

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Sky Flare couldn't wait for this competition! Ever since the games had begun he knew that this was one he wanted to participate in it. Sure he wanted to do others like the Cloud Diving and the Longest Yard, but this would be the ultimate test of his strength, speed, and agility.

As the approached the line, a judge insisted that his wings be bound to his side to prevent him from flying. It was just as well as in doing so he would never be seen as a cheater, something Sky was adamant about. He also had to forgo wearing his Aeroblades goggles as that might give him too much of an advantage in the race.

Once the final preparations were made, he surveyed the field, looking at each of the four challenges. He saw the parts that would be easy for him and those that would be a struggle. The the judge looked at him to see when he was ready.

"Ready to go," Sky said as he dropped his body low to the ground ready for the run to start. The judge then gave the countdown:





At the sound of the whistle, Sky took off like a rocket. "Cannonball," the stallion shouted as he dove into the mud pit and began to swim to the other suide. The mud was harder to navigate than just regular water or air. At one point he disappeared under the brownish muck but then at the end of the pit he suddenld burst out and onto shore.

"Ptooo," Sky said as he spit out some mud in his mouth as he began running to the next challenge. "Alright barrels, time for a little jumping, Cloudsdale style!" With several successive leaps, Sky made it to the top of the barrel. This he had training in while in Flight School, learning how to hop from one cloud to the next as an early test before actually flying. Then, Sky curled himself up into a muddy ball and rolled down the other side of the barrel. "Ugh! I'm feeling dizzy," he commented as he had to stop for a second or two to keep the world from sipnning.

Sky reached the third area and accelerated across the open stretch of ground. As he did, the mud that was caked on his normally white pelt began to blow off, looking like smoke was coming off his body. He was starting to feel the burning in his legs from the previous areas, but he knew there was one final one to go.

A now semi clean Sky Flare then reached the final part and loaded the three pies on his back. He could try and accelerate really fast on this part, but this would almost guarantee that he'd lose one or even all the pies. This had to be done with less speed and more agility. "Around the one," he said as he trotted past the first pole. "Around the second," as he passed the next one, the pies still intact. "The last one," he exclaimed with a sigh of relief as he rounded it. Now with a little dash, he crossed the finish line!

"Awww yeah! That was awesome!"

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*This Post Submitted for Judging*

"Now this is more like it!" Flying Brick surveyed the obstacle course with an eager grin as she undid the last of her bandages. The bruises from the rather hard landing at the Sky Dive had faded below her dark red coat now, and she was fully ready to give a full demonstration of her skills. After all, if a street acrobat who climbed the lampposts of her home city, did flips off the fire escapes for fun, and could navigate through a construction at top speed couldn't make a good show here, well! She might as well hang up her horseshoes.

*Of course, there are no lamp-posts or fire escapes here. Don't forget, you're a long way from Stalliongrad.* A small, sobering voice in her head whispered, but she paid only a little heed to it. Being so far from Stalliongrad only meant that she would have to represent it at her best, and this was the best place to show it. At least, it was better than a tug-of-war, which would have to do.

As an earth pony, there wasn't much she had to worry about in the way of avoiding cheating. She hadn't brought any gear with her that she'd have to leave with the judge; the streets had always given her the props she needed for her routines, and she was sure the course would be similarly generous. She'd held back a bit in line to plan how to approach each obstacle, but now was her time. She stepped up to the line, and nodded to the judge to answer that she was ready.


*Remember, this is your forte.*


*Remember, Stalliongrad builds strong.*


*And don't forget to give them a show!*


With the first sound of the judge's whistle she was off, launching forward on the very tips of her hooves for the few light, quick steps it would take to reach the edge of the mudpit, which she leapt into, placing the back ends of her hooves forward. No doubt, it looked an odd way to enter the contest, but the reason the mare adopted the style was quickly apparent; for the first few feet, she was practically surfing on the top of the mud, sending out a wake of dirt to either side, before finally losing momentum and sinking into the mire.

"Ptui! Well, so much for the easy part." Flying Brick muttered as she began the slog through the rest of the pit. She wasn't bulky enough to just push through the mud; it was too think, and would have slowed her down too much. However, it wasn't thick enough to scamp over the top of either, so she had to lift each hoof up to pull herself forward, which was the quickest method, but rather tiring.

She was relieved to be able to pull herself from the far side of the pit at last and, sparing a second to shake off the deadweight globs of mud still sticking to her coat, she took off for the barrels, not even slowing down as she reached the first one. Wood didn't offer as much traction for a vertical grip as brick, but they'd do. The mare grinned as she scaled the pile; running and climbing over uneven and unlikely surfaces was right up her alley! Reaching the top with nary a loss of momentum, she took a flying leap off the topmost barrel as it fell away beneath her hooves, turning a somersault in the air and hitting the ground running to the cheers of the crowd.

While Flying Brick was certainly no slowpoke, she wasn't at her best on the flats. And this wasn't even a flat street, just a dirt path. For a city-born-and-bred pony, the country terrain couldn't help but be off-putting. She couldn't spare a thought for that, though; thinking would only slow her down now.

She was confident she could make up any needed time on the final obstacle, though. Just balance a few pies around the sticks? She'd done pretty much the same thing with garbage can lids and lampposts back at home, couldn't be too hard. As she reached the table where the pies were kept, she could feel a slight fatigue in her muscles; her technique in the mud pit was taking its toll now. She flipped each pie onto her back with her mouth, nearly tipping the third as she could feel herself rushing. *Whoa, careful. More grace, less haste.*

With that last bit of advice, the earth pony silenced her thoughts as she sailed through the last obstacle. Like before, she kept her steps light but quick, allowing for adjustments in her pace and pitch to keep the pies in balance. *Not quite like garbage can lids, but close enough.* She let her muscles do most of the thinking now; they knew a bit more about the subject, after all.

Good thing, too, as she could feel a little wobble come into her legs after rounding the third pole, and transfer itself onto the pies. She let her instincts run the last few steps, which grew crazy, weaving back and forth to keep the balance on her back. She practically skidded across the finish line sideways, tipping over immediately afterward, pies and all.

"Clumsy finish." She chided herself as she shakily got to her hooves. Flying Brick had always tried to "stick the landing," and now was feeling out of sorts as she looked to the board for her time. Hopefully the time was worth bringing home...

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* This post submitted for judging *



When the next contestant approached the Obstacle Course, flowers along his path instantly wilted. Those spectators who were within close proximatey of him grabbed their noses or reached for their emergency gas masks to put over their faces. It was Pigpen, by far the smelliest pony in Equestria, who trotted up to the Start Line and prepared for his turn on the course. The unkempt stallion seemed to be genuinely stunned when he glanced up to the crowd and saw a LOT of blank looking faces, Pigpen's 'loyal' swarm of horseflies followed behind him, as if they were his own flying 'Fan Club.'

"HELLO HAPPY PONIES! GLAD YOU CAME TO WATCH!" Pigpen shouted, waving a front hoof high ih the air. This seemingly innocent motion was enough to cause more ponies seated on the bleachers to reach for their noses as it caused a gust of body odor to gently float towards them.

"Guess everypony's so excited about the race, they're speechless," the shaggy sanitation stallion said to his fly companions, toothy grin on his face as the race official, who had now backed a considerable distance away from him, began the race countdown.




"TWEET!" blared the whistle as Pigpen rushed off the blocks and towards the mud pit ahead.

"MY FAVORITE PART OF THE RACE! YIPPIE!" Pigpen shouted as he dived headfirst into to pit, sending mud splashing upward in all directions. This was HIS element! No pony in the entire kingdom could maneuver through mud like Pigpen. The shaggy brony litereally swam through the mud pit like a furry torpedo quickly emerging from the end all covered in mud from head to hooves.

"Wish I could do THAT part of the course AGAIN!" the mud covered Pigpen neighed as he galloped towards the stacks of barrels. This was going to be tricky for the trash loving stallion since agility was not one of his strong suits. Carefully, he approached the stacks of barrels and started his slow ascent upward. Climbing the stacks with one, two and three barrels high was no problem, but Pigpen began to wobble atop the stack of four barrels. Putting his left hind hoof and right front hoof in the air quickly balanced the stack, but now he had to successfully negotiate the even taller five and six barrel stacks. Pigpen's mind quickly went into motion. If he moved too slowly, the barrels stacks could fall and if he rushed up them, he risks misstepping and falling off anyway.

"It's time to go for broke," he grunted as he rushed up the higher stacks of barrels, leaning from one side to the other with his legs as he climbed to compensate for the shifting center of gravity of the unsteady five and six high barrel stacks.

"MADE IT!" he shouted as he leaped over and landed on the other side. Now to the sprinting part of the Obstacle Course. This was also not a strength of Pigpen's since he wasn't particularly all that swift of hoof.

"I've GOT to run faster!" the shaggy mud covered stallion grunted as he galloped with all his might, "the fastest I've ever ran in my life was that time I found that hornet's nest in my junkyard and ... THAT'S IT!"

Pigpen glanced behind him and saw that his loyal swarm of flies, his constant traveling 'companions,' were following him as they always seemed to do. Using his very powerful imagination, the unkempt stallion envisioned his insect friends as a swarm of angry hornets, chasing after him. Shrieking in terror, Pigpen put on an extra burst of speed that made him gallop at a swifter pace until he reached the final obstacle: the weave poles. Now he had to figure out the best way to keep three fresh apple pies sitting on his back while he ran the last leg of the course. Turning his head to gaze upon his back, Pigpen noticed he was still covered in fresh mud. Dirt, grime and dust seem to cling to him like a magnet, and that's when the idea struck him! Quickly reaching behind him, he attempted to move the mud on his back into three small piles and then 'squished' each pie in the center of the primitive small piles.

"That'll hold'm tight!" the muddy stallion neighed as he galloped towards the weave poles. His pace was slower as to not 'jar' the pies off his back, but swift enough to keep him in the running for a medal (he hoped). Rounding all the poles on the course with relative ease, Pigpen put on one last burst of speed to reach the Finish Line. HE DID IT! HE FINISHED THE COURSE!

"Time to celebrate!" Pigpen shouted as he first 'bucked' the apple pies off his back, sending them upward high enough for the shaggy trash loving pony to 'catch' each one, allowing them to 'splat' him in the face as he quickly ate whatever portions of the pies that didn't fall off him. Then he made a beeline for the mud pit, laughing as he leapt into it, splashing even more of the mud in all directions before swimming the 'backstroke' in the long trench of mud.

"I'm gonna have to get one of these installed in my junkyard! Even if I don't win a medal, I'm HAPPY! WEEEEE!"

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Snowfall had a determined look on her face as she stood at the sidelines, waiting her turn. The snowy white pegasus still couldn't believe she was here about to do this. When she had come to Ponyville, it had been only to be a spectator. She was here to watch her fillyfriend Pathfinder compete in the various events and cheer her on. It was after watching Pathfinder's performance in the cloud diving event... after seeing the mare she loved leave the crowd awed and amazed as the judges awarded onto her a perfect score, that Snowfall's plans, at least in the immediate started to change.

Pathfinder was a kind of silly mare, not very rational, far too keen to leap headfirst into danger but she was also endlessly inspiring. Being around her and watching her struggle toward greatness made Snowfall just want to live her life more freely. After watching that dive, and without telling Pathfinder herself, Snowfall had signed up for event, intent on giving it her all.

She didn't know if Pathfinder was competing in this one or not, but whether she would be competing against her or she would just be a spectator, Snowfall was sure seeing her compete like this would make Pathfinder happy. Snow had chosen this particular event for a reason. Her and Pathfinder's first date was at a sort of obstacle course out in the Roughrider Ridge. Her finding the confidence to compete against other ponies in this course now was sure to get the other mare's attention. Pathfinder would see it and know that this was all because of her.

As she lined up Snowfall gave a low nod. She wasn't just doing this to impress her special somepony though. No, she was after the gold just as much as anypony. Perhaps it would be an upward struggle; Snowfall was a businessmare, CEO of her own major corporation and one of the richest mares in Stalliongrad. She had known luxury all her life and simply put wasn't overwhelmingly athletic. Sure, she'd get at least some exercise on her midnight flights around the city, but next to ponies who did this kind of thing regularly? She wasn't sure how much of a chance she really stood. Regardless, she held Pathfinder and Pathfinder's personal hero Daring Do close to her heart for inspiration. Maybe she was more accustomed to dry business meetings and stuffy upper crust galas, but in that moment she felt their strength in her. She was a proud pegasus, and she could do this as well as any.

"All set," Snowfall told the tan earth pony overseeing the event with a forceful nod, staring ahead. She couldn't be more ready for this.

"All right," the tan mare said back. "Three... Two... One!"

The second the whistle blew, Snowfall set off into her best gallop. She leapt as far as she could into the mud pit to minimize the distance she would have to traverse, but ultimately still had to make way through over half of the long grimy pit. For a lot of wealthy and pampered mares, the idea of purposely jumping headlong into a pit of shoulder deep mud was the worst sort of nightmare, but for Snow, it wasn't that big a deal. She'd gladly make a mess of her pristine white coat and wavy powder blue mane if it meant a chance at victory. Besides, if she was one of those sorts who stressed about cleanliness, dating a rough and adventurous mare like Pathfinder probably wouldn't work very well.

Snowfall didn't mind the mire, but that didn't mean it was easy to move through. No, as previously stated, Snowfall was not a strong and athletic mare. All she had to go on was her intelligence and determination. The mud was thick and viscous; moving through it was a very gradual process. Snowfall didn't stress herself though. Struggling helplessly against the mud would get her nowhere. Instead, she took it slow and steady, pushing herself ahead little by little until she was close enough to the edge to pull herself up and out of the mud.

Shaking off as much mud as she could without slowing herself down too much, Snow ran ahead toward the barrels. This part didn't seem too tricky to her. It was about being quick and careful. It kind of reminded her of the wall climb at the obstacle course where she had met Pathfinder. It was about being quick yet also patient. At that wall, she had succeeded where Pathfinder had struggled terribly. She was determined to succeed yet again here. Of course, as she pulled herself quickly onto the first barrel, she noticed what would be the key difference: that wall hadn't wobbled about if one was off slightly.

Snowfall didn't let this deter her. It was just something else to figure into her steps; it was still the same idea. The white pegasus lifted herself carefully upward, barrel after barrel at a steady pace. There were a lot of barrels to cover, but Snowfall didn't let that get to her and made sure to never go too fast. Eventually the businessmare found herself on top of the wall of barrels, staring off at the open stretch ahead of her. Nodding once to herself, the pegasus then took a bold leap from the top of the barrel.

She landed on her hooves and immediately and broke into her best gallop. This course called for a lot of hoofwork. The course she had met Pathfinder at had been mainly for pegasi, so it was a lot more flying. Snowfall kind of liked that better; her wings got a lot more exercise than her hooves. Still, she wanted this, so she was pushing her legs well past what they were used to here. Maybe other ponies would do this faster, but she was giving it all she had, and as the long empty stretch came to an end, Snowfall was pretty sure she had made pretty good time.

Now it was time for the fourth and final obstacle, the pie balancing challenge. Snowfall had some trepidation on this one; she wasn't particularly graceful. All the same, it didn't seem too hard if she took it slowly enough. She moved toward the table where the apple pies were prepared and grabbed them up one by one, tossing them onto her back. All set, she moved toward the three posts cautiously. Already she could feel the difficulty of this. At the first step, a pie nearly slipped off. She shifted her balance just in time to catch if, but her confidence was slightly shaken in the process. Could she really do this? If she dropped all the pies the penalties would destroy her time...

No, she couldn't give up this close to the end. Daring Do never gave in, and neither did Pathfinder. No matter what was thrown at them, they moved ahead, unafraid. Snowfall could find that spirit in herself as well. She could do this! Nothing could stop her. Shaking her head she started to move ahead more easily, the pies staying in place. She slipped effortlessly past the first post; turning her body to move toward the second proved difficult. A pie almost flew clean off of her. Snow caught it and shifted it back with a movement of her wing. The rules forbid flying, but they didn't say they flat out couldn't use their wings for anything. Snowfall figured it was safe.

Snow moved quickly around the second post and without stopping found and cleared the third. The finish line in sight, the pegasus tripped over her hooves. The pressure had just gotten to her and she had made a poor step. As two of the pies dislodged and flew upward, she was sure for a second that she had blown it, that all of her hopes for the event were about to end in a big sticky mess. Quickly she then reminded herself not to give up. Shifting herself about quickly, moving her back and her wings just as she needed, she caught all the pies before they could reach the ground. Not going to let anything else deter her, the pegasus then darted immediately ahead, ready to cross the finish line.

The pegasus made it across and almost immediately one of the pies slipped from her back to the ground. She put the other two down gently and then laughed. She breathed heavily for a while. Covered in mud and sweat, this certainly wasn't what she used to. She just hoped Pathfinder would see this. More over, she hoped she'd win. Wouldn't that be something? She smiled and continued to pant, only now realizing how much it had taken out of her. Rather than collapse right then and there, she cantered off to find a place to sit for a moment and regain her breath. Despite it all, a smile remained clear on her face. Maybe she should do this kind of thing more often?

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(This post submitted for judging!)

Electric Vibe looked confidently at the obstacle course, and grinned happily as she took sight of other ponies competing in the course, each using their own strong suits to complete the lined up tasks, some having ease at the mud pit, while others did better at the barrels. Other ponies sprinted like maniacs to the wooden poles, while others balanced the pies without letting them move an inch. Every pony had varied strengths and weaknesses, and Electric knew her own quite well. She had already planned out how she was going to execute the course, while waiting for her own turn. Soon enough, she was up to take her turn at the obstacle course.

She was quite nervous at the previous events, but since she had already partaken in them, she was pumped. She was now confident as ever, but she knew not to get too cocky. The mare was now prepared for this upcoming task, and she couldn’t wait to get started. Electric basically had a diagram in her mind of how to go about this, and she shuffled her hooves in excitement, a wide smile present on her face.

Soon, the countdown began, and Electric bent into a ready stance at the starting line. She had her wings snapped against her flanks, and she legs were ready to run. Her eyes darted to the course in front of her, a burning determination and a spark of amusement glinting in her sky blue eyes, and the heat of the day pounded onto her face.

“Three! Two! One!”


At the blow of the whistle, Electric darted off from the starting line, her legs making quick work as she started off towards the first obstacle. She frowned slightly as she neared the huge wet mass. When she first observed the course, she knew this mud pit would be a great problem for her. Electric was surely not at all a wimp, but she definitely wasn’t too strong, making this the hardest obstacle for her.

As soon as her hooves made contact with the sticky mud, she let out a sharp breath, and she began to shuffle her hooves into the dirty, sticky mess. With every step she took, she began to grow more and more sluggish, but still tried her hardest to maintain her speed. Soon enough, the mud was nearly at half the height of her legs, and she yanked her hooves out of the mud with great force as she trudged forwards. There was only a little ways to go, and she knew she could do this! Letting the first obstacle hinder her greatly was not an option for her, and although she was moving at a little faster than a tortoise’s pace, she continued to venture through the mud pit.

Very soon, the white Pegasus had passed the first obstacle, and she quickly rushed out of the pit, tracking mud as most of her legs were covered in wet mud. She looked ahead to see the wall of barrels, and huffed. The wet and slippery mud would make it harder for her to scale the mountain of barrels, so she decided to come up with a plan that would hopefully make it easier for when she reached the barrels. Electric proceeded to scrape her hooves along the ground with every step, removing some of the mud and drying it a bit, making the trip less slippery and easier.

Electric soon arrived at the barrels, and she smiled. She didn’t want to brag, and she often didn’t like bragging, but she, as well as most of her friend knew that she was quick and light on her feet, with a good sense of agility. She looked up at the towering wall of barrels in the back, and she carefully leapt onto the lowest barrel in front of her, and the barrel shook a bit, but remained unmoved. Sighing, she felt glad enough that she had managed to keep herself on the first barrel, but knew there was more of a challenge just upcoming.

She soon aimed herself at the higher stack of barrels, and she raised her rump in the air, glaring at the next set, and she pounced, raising herself upwards with the force she used to push herself off the barrel. She landed onto the middle of the next barrel. This stack wasn’t as stable as the barrel before, and it wobbled slightly, but like the other, stayed unmoved. It was a bit more wobbly due to the fact that it was a bit higher than the other row.

A drop of sweat raced down her cheek as she took a look at the next row. It would begin to get more difficult with every jump, but she continued to stay confident in her abilities. She would have to step it up a notch, and with that, she quickly pushed herself off the second row of barrels, and landed on the third set, even more wobbly than before. Electric then used her quick wits and dashed off to the side to prevent the stack and her from falling. Then, without wasting any time, she quickly leapt onto the next row, and to the next in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. She then continued to jump from that row to the next in a zigzag-like fashion, until she was at the top.

Grinning, the pegasus took one last leap, and jumped right off the last stack, landing not too roughly, but not too elegantly onto the ground below. The next obstacle in her path was the long sprint towards the last obstacle. It was now time to show her speed. Her lightweight stature and speedy personality took control, and she sprinted off towards the next obstacle. She legs moved like a runaway train, and she dashed off, propelling herself forwards with ease. Fatigue started to grasp at her, giving her a short time of slowed down sprinting, but she was far too excited to notice a bit afterwards, soon picking up more speed, and she soon arrived swiftly at the last obstacle in a short amount of time.

Electric trotted quickly over to the table that had been laid out, and balanced three of the sweet-scented pies onto her back carefully. This part was certainly the most stressful, but if done correctly, could give you a good place in the competition. She felt ready to do this. Electric wasn’t the most graceful pony, but she was taught grace and elegance from her mother and father in her days as a filly. She had to learn such things if she was to attend parties and the like with her parents, and so she learned tactics like good composure, stance, speech, and other things.

Electric then completely changed her mood as she approached the three wooden poles. She put on a posh look on her face, and carefully took a step forwards, smoothly making her way to the side of the first pole. Her neck and head were held up high, and her torso hardly moved, only to stretch when she moved a limb. She carefully curved her body and weaved in between the poles, showing quite a bit of grace compared to her usual way of attempting things. She continued to weave through the poles, the pies almost unmoving,

She then made her way to the finish, but her eyes widened in fear as she felt a pie wobbling dangerously to the side of her body. If this one pie fell, it would certainly ruin her chance. Her heart pounded quickly, like a drum beat. Sweat rolled down her face and she quickly, but slightly jerked herself to the left, re-balancing the pie, and only slightly moving the other two. She then lightly trotted towards the finish line, and crossed it carefully. She cursed herself for the time she spent re-balancing the pie, but it was worth it, as she quickly stretched out her wings, pies still balanced on her back.

Breathing deeply, she plopped down onto a nearby bench, setting the pies down, and she waited to catch her breath. "I did it..."

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*This post submitted for judging*

Harrington Sleuth was the next pony to take up his position at the starting line. He had looked at the course and assessed how he would do over each obstacle.

"Hmm...the mud pit doesn't seem to be much of a challenge for me. But those barrels over there could pose a problem, though. The running part is...well, running. Straightforward, really. The last part is...interesting. A true assessment of how well-rounded a pony's athletic skills are."

He figured he had done well in at least one of the other events, so the chance to score high marks in yet another contest excited him. He would take his chances with the course and, even if he didn't do so well, he certainly didn't mind sticking around this quaint little town for a while longer. Stay here, meet interesting ponies, watch them compete, strive to beat everypony (and the griffon that also showed up) and hopefully earn some awards.

He nodded to the official when he was ready to begin and set himself up to burst out of the gate.


The stallion rocketed out of the gate, all four hooves pounding as he rushed straight into the mud pit. He had already become familiar with such a pit at the Tug-O'-War, so the filth didn't bother him. He broke through the mud with incredible speed as he utilized his strength. He hauled a sizable wagon with him everywhere he traveled. A little mud couldn't slow him down very much at all, and he shook off all the mud that he could before he started toward the next obstable.

"That was easy. What's next...oh, dear."

The next part would be the first tough challenge for him. He checked the stacks of barrels and watched for wobbling and tilting as he climbed up onto the first barrel, then proceeded to ascend the remaining towers one hop at a time. On the five-high column, he shook a little bit and placed as many hooves on top as he could to steady himself, trying to lean one way to prevent it from falling. After a few seconds, he decided to take the chance and jump the wall, which he barely cleared. As much as he wanted to use his wings for a soft landing to continue, he couldn't for this contest.

"Oof!" He landed in a bit of an awkward position and fell to the ground, unfamiliar with letting gravity bring him to the ground. "Ow..." He stood back up after a few seconds, shook his head and galloped as fast as he could through the sprint track. He wasn't the fastest pony on hoof, but he was decent and hoped the short mud swim made up for his stop at the barrel wall.

Finally came the odd part of the course. He approached the table just off to the side of the last stretch, which had three new, undisturbed apple pies sitting on it, still hot and giving off a heavenly scent. He took one up in his mouth and set it on his back, closer to his flank, so he could place the other two closer to his head and not have to move around the other pies while he tried to block out the aroma. Once he had all three on, centered and steady, he took a deep breath and started into the poles. He went at a pace slightly faster than walking, minding the pies as his main concern was sudden movement. If a pie had to fall, it had to fall. Better he take a penalty for one than all three. "Stay careful and it won't add a great deal of time to the clock," he told himself.

He took great caution in his line through the pole weaving. Even with his broader stature, one of those pies could catch a pole and fall off. He curved around the first pole with ease, carefully moved through the gap to the second pole and had to stretch himself a bit to fit around the third pole and through the narrower space. Once he was clear, he steadied one pie that leaned to his left before he trotted across the finish line. Another signal stopped the clock, and Harrington took the nearest pie from off his back and set the other two aside as he walked off to the side and stuck his face squarely into the delicious pastry.

"This kind of pie could only have been crafted in Sweet Apple Acres," he said with his mouth halfway occupied (Geddit?). "It's too good to have come from anywhere else..."

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Watching from the competitors area, Greenshot had been sitting in wait for his turn as he watched pony after pony go through the course. It was an advantage to watch the different styles the ponies had used to go from one obstacle to the next. He was happy to have decided to come and participate in his second event of the Iron Pony. He was a Canterlot Unicorn that had the obvious hint of his home in the tone of his voice when speaking. He was ready for this competition as he got set to go.

It was his turn now as he trotted up towards the starting line and looked straight ahead at the long mudpit. he was going to need to have another spa day after this was over. Not being a fan of the mud when the whistle blew to start his run. It made him jump as he had been in deep thought and trotted forth at the mudpit which he jumped into. His whole body was underneath the mud until his head popped back out covered in the muck. His blue eyes looking forward in focus while keeping the thoughts of being clean out of his mind. Greenshot began to push his legs back and forth beneath the mud until he was near the edge of the mudpit. Lifting his front hooves to grab the edge of the pit and pull himself up, he was heavy from the mud and as he stood there looking at his mud covered self. he just trotted forward to his next obstacle while leaving a trail of mud and hoof prints behind.

Coming up to the next obstacle, Greenshot looking at the barrels that were stacked up and lifted his front hooves up to begin his climb. The weight of the mud on him was making it harder for him to ascend up the barrel tower. He was halfway up when he tried to hop up to the fourth row of barrels when his hind right leg tripped on the mud and nearly made him fall all the way down to the ground. Scared to do so, Greenshot climbed to the top in rapid jump succession when his first step down to descend the barrels made him stumble and he fell. his body bouncing onto each row of barrels until he smacking onto the ground. Falling made almost all the mud on his body fall off though when he looked back, he saw imprints of mud that showed how he landed on each set of barrels and began to run forward, not wanting to stay there any longer into the next obstacle that he sprinted across and jumped near the end to finished the third and headed for the last obstacle in the course.

Greenshot paused as he walked over towards the table with the pies with a grin on his face. He knew this would be his best obstacle. He was experienced with balancing many plates and pans on his body from the years of working in his mom's pastry shop. turning to his side and looking back, he used his tail to place two apple pies onto his back stacked ontop of each other and used his tail to hold onto the third and began to walk forward, twisting his body around the poles. keeping one eye on the poles in front of him and the other looking back past his hair at the pies which barely moved on his back and his tail the held the pie steadily on it. Tuning around the last pole, Greenshot launched forward to cross the finish line as he quickly rested the first apple pie onto a table and then the other top stacked ontop of each other in front of him and sat there, ripping his forehead with his hoof from the sweat the beaded down from his head. "Yes, I have finished. I can only hope and wait to see the results knowing I did the best I possibly could. Just have to wait until I can go to the salon and get myself cleaned up though." Greenshot said softly out loud followed with a short sigh.

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(This post is submitted for judging)

Hoss and Shanna once again divided their events according to the build of their bodies.

Shanna as a mare was a bit lighter than her brother, so she would be doing the barrel race. Meanwhile her brother with a more typical male build would take on the obstacle course.

The bay pegasus stallion noted flying was sensibly forbidden yet again and made sure to remember not to even open his wings.

Suddenly the tan pony officiating the event pointed at him.

Hoss strutted out, proudly showing off his Pegasus Cool since his Special Somepony was watching in the crowd.

He waved his hoof at Jubilee Flyer, then got ready to start. "Lets Do this!"

The judge nodded and counted down.

"3...2...1.." *Tweeeeeeet*

At the sound of the whistle, Hoss made use of a Pegasus' lighter weight, even compared to other stallions, and got off to a good sprint and jump, plopping into the middle of the mud pit with a decent splash for the spectators to see. "What is it with mud today?"

He pushed and paddled hard, thrashing his way to the other side. At least he was staying higher in the gunk than the Unicorns and Earth ponies taking part.

He was still wearing out faster than he expected. Long distance flying does not give the legs a big work-out it would seem.

Hoss scrambled and fought against the pull of the thick muck, finally forced to dig in both forehooves on the rim and haul his sticky carcass out.

Unable to take the time to shake the thick coating off, he scrambled toward the next objective; Climb the wall of barrels!

Hoss put on a burst of speed, sending blobs of mud flying as he made a sudden jump to land half-on the top of a barrel in the first layer, then scrambled up onto the wobbling barrel, slick with the passing of previous contestants.

He leapt up to the next higher barrel, which nearly pitched over, throwing him onto the barrel next to it.

Closing his eyes for a moment to focus before continuing. "Remember, just like Cloudsdale Hail-cloud hopscotch! You can do this!"

The bay stallion was finding this more difficult without being able to spread his wings for balance. He could not open them even if he wanted to; The gluey mud had stuck his wings to his body.

Opening his eyes again, he judged the distance and jumped!

Now on the peak of the wall, he rocked back and forth on his back hooves, windmilling his forelegs to get his balance, then jumped forward onto the other side, bouncing from barrel to barrel until he landed on the ground.

He used the momentum of his descent, or controlled fall depending on the viewer, to sprint down the straightaway to the last objective.

On the way, he slipped for a moment on a spatter of mud but got his balance back quickly, just in time to reach the final obstacle.

Fearing for his time score, he slapped his forehooves on both sides of the thee pies just laid out for him a moment before. The table acted like a spring to catapult the pies into the air and he swung his hips around to put his back under the pies, receiving a soft landing on his gooey back.

Feeling the pies on his back, he started moving forward toward the three poles, hoping the sticky mud would actually stick the pies to him.

Hoss sweated under the thick coat, worried he might still mess up at this point. His legs trembled as he did a light canter and swung around the first pole, then the other way around the next pole, and swung again as he came to the last pole.

Hoss suddenly felt one of the pies skidding across his croup (rump) and about to dump off his rear. Only a quick "bunny hop" managed to throw it back in place before he made the final trot to the finish line.

Hoss panted a bit and wobbled on his legs as officials pulled the pies from his back "*Whew*... on the whole... it is...way easier...than that potato race..."

The stallion gave a weak smile and wave to his lady love as he headed to another set of wash tubs to clean off...

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A cool summer breeze rolled across the field holding the obstacle course, ruffling the unkempt mane of the particularly exuberant Gearly. Though he was none-too-fond of the outdoors, the cloudless, azure sky and the sweet summer air made it all but impossible to deny the beauty of this day. Taking in a deep breath, holding it, relishing the crisp air of the open pastures, Gearly held the breath for a short moment, letting it out smiling even brighter than before. A leather-brown ear twitched and turned toward the shouts fighting to be heard over the excited and bustling crowd, a voice calling out for... What? He wasn't quite sure...

Gearly made his way toward the source of the sound, trotting through the, initially, scattered observers, noticing how the crowd packed tigher as he neared the...whatever it was. A few moments later, the young stallion was forced to squeeze his lithe, tannish-brown frame between a cluster of tittering fillies, gossiping of who they found cute or homely, and a circle of greyed stallions and mares, regaling of summer days past of their youth. Popping out on the other side of the two cliques, Gearly found the source of the shouting above the din of of the gathered crowd; a tan earth pony caught Gearly by surprise, calling out to him, challenging his ability to win one of the Iron Pony events, "Welcome to the Iron Pony Obstacle Course! Do you have strength? Agility? Finesse! Speed?! Do you have what it takes to be number one?! Step on up and show us what you've got!"

Separating from the crowd and trotting out to the starting line, Gearly glanced to the other ponies who had been wrangled in by the caller. The competition looked tough, and Gearly began to slowly doubt his ability to even beat half of these other individuals. A nervous shake entering his body, Gearly turned his head toward the obstacles he would soon face, his doubts raising ever uglier in the back of his mind. He was no stranger to getting dirty, but he was completely unused to mucking through mud, an obstacle that would, he was certain, be harder than it appeared. Though he was the most agile pony in his family, he wasn't sure he'd be able to scale the mountain of barrels and descend in one piece; his agility lay with working adeptly with his hooves, not jumping around and climbing. The sight of the straight run and the pie-stacked pole-weave seemed so simple, Gearly was confident in his ability to successful and quickly complete those challenges.

So lost in thought, as he was, Gearly barely heard "Twweeeeeet!" of the starting whistle as the other contestants darted off. Startled from the labyrinthine confines of his mind and jumping a good foot in the air, Gearly recalled his location and purpose: to race! Giving chase after the other ponies, Gearly's mind raced as he attempted to formulate the best means of approach to each obstacle. The mud seemed thick and viscous from a far, and getting a hoof stuck in the stuff would very likely bring his race to a halt. Not entirely aware of the moment, Gearly concluded the best course of action that he could think of, quick and light steps, just before absent-mindedly running head long into the pit. After pulling his, now, muk-coated form from the mud, he scrambled across the pit to the far end, doing his best to skip across the mud, trying not to let the pit take him down a second time.

Clambering out of the far end of the pit, Gearly ran to the imposing tower of barrels, shuddering once as a sudden case of vertigo washed over him. Shaking the fear and a bit of mud off, Gearly began scaling the mountainous pile. Carefully swinging his weight back and forth, thinking only of the rhythmic movement of a clockwork pendulum, Gearly hauled himself up one hoof at a time, mindful of any shift in structure beneath him. "One, two... One, Two," Gearly chanted as he worked to the top, finally reaching the peak and pausing for a moment to catch his breath, just before a slick glob of mud stole his sure stance from under him. Gearly tumbled down the opposite side of the barrels, landing with a thud, dazed and confused for but a moment before dashing off down the straight run.

"Wasn't nearly as bad...*Huff*as when.. *Huff huff* I got mah...cutie...*Huff* mark," he said to himself, charging down the clear path of the open course. After a few short seconds, Gearly realized he was beginning to slow, having been drained from the fiascoes with the mud and barrels. Gearly, quickly running out of breath, incredulously thought to himself, "This was s'pposed to be the easy part!" Gearly slowed for a few short moments to catch his breath and focus, using the wells of determination that had helped him rally against every major obstacle in his life. He had never given up before and, with Celestia as his witness, he was NOT going to give up now! Gritting his teeth and ignoring the dull ache in his muscles, Gearly lurched forward, picking up speed once more until he crossed into the final challange.

Staggering over to the table, Gearly paused for a precious moment, taking a deep breath and letting the crisp summer air into his lungs. Revitalized, Gearly looked down to the three apple pies, ignoring the grumbling within his stomach. Knowing that a wider base was more stable, Gearly carefully stacked the pies on his back, putting two on his back and placing the third atop the first two. "With this," Gearly said thoughtfully to himself, "The weight should be distributed evenly along my back, and the center of mass will be lower to the ground." Gearly knew his experience as a pack 'mule' for his family would prove just as important; often while carrying supplies back to the farm, he had been forced to balance more delicate packages than a pile of perfect pies. With experience and physics on his side, Gearly confidantly strode and swerved through the poles, careful not to bounce his body, and the pies, about too much.

As Gearly crossed the finish line, he did not look to observe who he had overtook or who had beaten him in the race; in his mind, his body screamed at him, eager for a rest from the physical activity he had thought he'd left behind on the farm. His journey through the lands of Equestria brought him places and taught him things, but everywhere he was reminded of who he was and where he came from. During his times of doubt, Gearly pulled strength from the memories of his family and their farm, anxious to one day return; the memories gave him strength to carry on when in times of difficulty, much like during the race. With his mind drifting back to days on the farm long past, Gearly flopped onto his side, forgotten apple pies tumbling to the ground, as he took in one final breath of a cool summer breeze, and then dreamt of his family.

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*This post submitted for judging*


Obstacle course? Easy. Applejack had set up obstacle courses before for the sisterhooves social and other events involving rodeos and races. She knew that the hardest part of an obstacle course setting it up. The race itself? Easy. Applejack stretched and prepared for her run in the race, knowing full well that she would need to keep her mistakes as little as possible in order to take home the grand prize. She stepped to the line for her turn at the course. "GO!"

Applejack burst from the starting line, and dove right into the deep puddle of mud. Almost playfully, she trudged through the thickness of the wet dirt, but she made sure to keep her hat as clean as a whistle. She would not want her hat to get any unnecessary dirt on it. She pulled herself through, presenting an evil smirk of confidence on her face, knowing full well that this was her best leg. All those years of bucking trees and pulling heavy wagons finally payed off. She reached the end of the mud pool and pulled herself out with ease. She shook a little to remove any excess weighted mud and then continued to the next leg.

Applejack hopped onto the first barrel, and then reached with her hooves for the second. Keeping her balance, she carefully scaled the stacks of barrels that proved to be a tough obstacle. Applejack was strong and able, but she was not the most agile pony of all. She would admit Rainbow Dash being a little better than herself at a typical match that involved keeping your balance. Applejack's muscular structure was just a little disadvantaged at wobbling on top of a barrel. And that's exactly what happened. She successfully trekked to the top barrel, but she wobbled on one hoof to keep from falling. She couldn't fall, for if she did, she would be surely injured and disqualified. She's couldn't let that happen. So, in a despnate attempt at gaining balance, Applejack dropped her whole body and grabbed the barrel underneath her with all four hooves. Once the barrel stabilized, she hopped down each barrel stack back to the ground. Applejack puffed a sigh of relief.

Applejack angled her hat down. She lowered her center of gravity. She flopped her ears down. All of this was an attempt to gain as much aerodynamic advantage as possible. For this leg, the sprint, was where Applejack just simply had to run as fast as she possibly could. Without tripping, she increased the pace of her gallop, her hooves clopping musically to the soft dirt path, a song of speed and endurance. Surely, this was the time where average ponies would be starting to get tired. But Applejack was no average pony, just ask anypony. By the time she finished this leg of the race, she knew she had the upper hoof. She couldn't see the leader board, nor could she recognize cheers of victory. But inside her emotion of competition, she could feel it. This was her races to win.

She reached the final leg of the race. A table of pies were displayed in front of her. Applejack grinned. "That's it? These pies are the last leg of the race? You can't be serious!" Applejack loved pies, especially apples pies. And though it was possible these were not her Granny's pies, she would love no more than to devour them in order to win. So she went to the table, and slapped it with her hooves three times, making all three pies of her's jumping from their position. She ate the pies as they fell--one, two, three. "And that's how we do it on the farm!" Applejack crossed her legs and winked to everypony, who was starring at her in shock.

"Um, Miss Applejack, you're supposed to balance the pies on your back and slalom those polls." The official pointed to his left, where the final leg was there waiting for the orange mare to finish.

Applejack couldn't believe it. She had probably just ate herself out of the competition. "Hurry, then! Give me three more pies!" Applejack loaded three more pies onto her back and she made her way through the last leg of the race, weaving through the polls, without losing her balance. She had to practically walk herself the last leg of the race. This obstacle course, the one she knew she could do well in, had the longest last leg on Applejack's competitive career. She could count the painful seconds exponentially growing as she slowly stepper her gracious steps towards the finish line. Successfully, without dropping a pie, Applejack made it to the finish, where she immediate dropped the pies on the ground. "Nuts and shoes! I can't believe I did that!" Applejack disappointed herself with her mistake. "Well, I just hope it doesn't ruin my appetite for the cupcake eating contest."


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